Mr. Pants Says

Physical Therapy

I got to start physical therapy today, and it was just a slice of wonderful. I got a massage, some stretching exercises, an ice blanket for my leg, and the tens machine. Ohhhhh, the tens machine.

I was a little set back, though. I thought I was doing a good thing by pushing myself to become as independent of walking aids as possible as soon as possible. I was actually doing a bad thing, since with a cane I have a really bad limp if I try to walk faster than a glacier. So, back on the walker for now. I can really book it on the walker, though, with no limp.

Right this second, I am having some pain. About a 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. I haven't elevated my leg as much as I should have done today and the ace bandage has been off for most of the day. Also, there was a lot of stretching to what felt like the breaking point. I learned that there isn't any way the teeny tiny therapist could possibly break the tendons she was stretching, so I relaxed and let her stretch my knee to the point of excruciating pain. The more stretch now, the better the outcome of a knee replacement will be later. Apparently, all of the tendons and ligaments are "splinting" to protect the surgical "trauma" and need to be re-educated.It took quite a bit of effort for the therapist to get my leg to straighten at all. Bending my knee was an even bigger challenge.
Mr. Pants Says

The Third Day

I have been tooling around with just a cane today. I just have to remember that an hour is the outside limit of sitting on my butt.

I am facing a decision about my knees. Having just had the arthroscopic surgery on the left one, for an outside prognosis of two years before I'll need a replacement. The right one needs surgery, too.

I don't know if I'm interested in going through two surgeries when one will suffice. The factors are my age (I'm considered too young for a replacement, even if the damage to my joints warrants a replacement), whether insurance would pay for a replacement if every single other option hasn't been exhausted, and just how long I would have to be in a residential rehab hospital.

anyway, I'm getting tired. I'll probably type more tomorrow.
Mr. Pants Says

Return of the Queen

Dad has loaned me his old laptop computer since he doesn't really use it any more, and I am in serious need of a computer.

As a result, I can one again enjoy my livejournal and actually type instead of try to get a thought out of my head one letter at a time.

A few things have happened since I last posted. For one, my home owner's insurance decided that I needed a brand new roof. Not just new shingles, but a new deck as well. That would have been upwards of $13k. That is more than 10% of the current value of my house. So, I said "Shit on that noise!" and got a different carrier that isn't so fussy about the age of the roof so long as it is not going to blow away in the next storm. We still need to have the roof reshingled, with a new ventilation system. It's just not going to cost more than my car to get it done, and that's even with the higher priced and better quality architectural shingles.

Another thing that happened is I had knee surgery on the 13th. It was "just" a laproscopic procedure to remove the meniscus that was shredded and to remove some of the bone spurs, cysts, and shredded articulate cartilage. At best, if everything goes perfectly, this has staved off getting a knee replacement in a couple of years. At worst, I'll be back again next year getting a partial knee replacement. Either way, it is a good feeling that I have found a surgeon that actually believed me when I told him that whatever was going on with my knee had very little to do with my weight, and more to do with an old injury. The first surgeon I went to was convinced my weight was the sole reason my knee hurt and as a result, had very little interest in helping me.

My recovery has gone smoothly, so far. Yesterday was the most painful day, and it was partially my fault for trying to skip a dose or two of the Norco pain pills. I woke up feeling great. I didn't need the walker to get around so long as I was careful how I stepped. Then, after everyone got up and I sat down, my knee blew up like a party balloon. And then, the pain. At its worst, it was at least a 7 on the "pain scale." It took several doses to get caught back up with the pain train, lowering my pain level to its usual background of a three or less.

And then there was Today. I woke up stiff and weak in the left knee, but not so painful that the trip to the kitchen to make coffee was like self torture. The swelling is almost all gone, except for a knot on my thigh right above my knee, which is currently being iced and elevated.

So. I plan on keeping up with my journal while I have this laptop. It's so much better than DramaFace (facebook).
Mr. Pants Says

It Is Finished.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am now a homeowner. The loan for the house I grew up in was signed, sealed and delivered at exactly noon e.s.t. today. We have achieved half of our American Dream.

The other half is living long enough to retire, and being healthy enough when we do retire to actually enjoy said retirement, instead of just sitting around waiting to die.

On a down note, this is my last night with my Dad's computer. Now that we no longer need it for applying for a loan, Dad wants his toy back. I'll miss it, but not as much as I thought I would. I am considering replacing it once we are done remodeling the office, but nothing fancy.

Anyway, I have a new video game I want to go play until I have to leave in thirty minutes. I'll still be able to post from my phone, it's just not as awesome on that tiny screen with the virtual keyboard. My typing style is rather unconscious, like, I know where my fingers are supposed to be, and the words just come right out of them like I am thinking the words onto the screen.

Dad has been typing longer than I have been alive, and he still needs to hunt and peck. Thank you, Typing Shark and Yahoo! chat room Pagan Lake.
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Mr. Pants Says

Generally Untitled, wherein I whine about my knee

This weekend was the 52nd Annual Shrimp Festival.

We wanted to attend, but couldn't. See, my knee just won't cooperate and respond to the current treatment of taking prescription strength Aleve twice a day and that's all.

I can do yard work, house work, drive a stick (though not without some pain and discomfort), but I can't walk for any distance greater than about half a block. Some days, if I can manage to not bend my left leg at all, I kinda forget that my knee is very bad, and will attempt grocery shopping without a ride on cart. Unfortunately, I never make it more than half way through the store before the pain starts making me question my own existence.

It's not just pain in my knee, though. The pain starts in my knee, but within minutes my entire left leg, from my waist to the bottom of my foot, is just SCREAMING in pain. Nothing stops that pain train once it leaves the station. I could at that point sit, but the pain would still be there. On a scale from one to ten, after the initial spike of a serious 9.5+, it settles into a seven. That's just three notches down from screaming and writhing on the floor.

And nothing but waiting it out makes it stop.

I have no idea what's causing this issue. I've gone about a year ago to see about my left leg, was prescribed physical therapy and a cortisone shot. It worked at that time, for a little while. I had even almost forgotten about that time. I had an MRI of that knee done, and there was some tiny meniscal tears, mild osteo-arthritis, and signs of early rheumatoid arthritis.

It didn't hurt as much then or as frequently as it does now, though.

Sometimes it hurts so bad now, for so long, that I sincerely wish that my left leg would just fall off so I could get a prosthetic limb and go about my life, business as usual.

I don't generally cry about pain. I'll bitch and moan, sure, but not actual tears.\

Last Sunday, I was working on the garden, stumbled just right, and my knee bent. Dude, I cried and yelled so hard, it hurt so much, I actually got dry heaves. It wasn't JUST that my knee hurt more than anything I could remember. It also meant that I couldn't keep on doing something I was seriously enjoying. I loved the feeling of building the garden. I had just started that day's chores. I was heartbroken, not that it hurt, but that I now couldn't get dirt under my fingernails.

The last time I got really sidelined was in the sixth grade. Our school had a spring field day, where we competed against each other in track and field events. I was signed up for almost every event, representing my classroom. One week before we were to have Field Day, I broke all of the bones in the arch of my foot. All of them. Not a single one was not broken like a green twig. How I did it was so stupid, I can't believe that it happened. I was babysitting the neighbor's kids, and we were outside playing with their puppy. I was wearing flip flops, because of course I was. I just happened to step right into a mole hole, didn't notice it as I was chasing the puppy around the yard, and my foot stayed there while I tried to keep on going. There was a sick crunch, and suddenly I couldn't put any weight on that foot at all. Called my folks to come check it out by the fence, and even before Dad could get to the fence, my entire foot turned black.

As calmly as my Dad could, he grabbed me, put me in the car and told Mom to call the neighbors and to bring the girls over to our house.

I didn't once cry from the pain. Instead, I cried when the doctor said I was to be completely off my foot for no less than a month. I explained my plans, and he said "No, Ma'am. No Way, Jose'. Nothing doing. You are going to have to sit this one out, sorry. You can't even walk, never mind run, jump, and all that other stuff. Here are the crutches, be careful on them."

I can tolerate many things. Being told to not do stuff in the spring time, as the earth awakens from her slumber, is pure torture to me. I cannot STAND to be sitting around. I have things to do, and dammit, I'm going to do them.

Except, of course, walk through downtown Fernandina Beach for Shrimp Festival this year.
Mr. Pants Says

Bow wow

So, I now own a dog.

I did not exactly seek this dog out, but I have known him since he was a puppy.

At first, I wasn't sure about this arrangement. I explored the dog's options for an optimal life for him. See, we are flat broke, and prospects of not being flat broke are slim (come on, Mega Millions!) Dogs are not cheap to keep healthy and well-fed. They are a serious commitment, even more so than a cat.

So, we thought about the options.

Option One: we keep the dog and pray he doesn't ever get sick.

Option Two: we place an ad (or several) selling the dog for around $200.

Unknown Option Three: we keep the dog, and Dad and Kay are responsible for vet bills and medications the dog should need, since it was Dad's dog to begin with.

We went with Option Three. And I am glad.

And now, for the irony. See, way back about five or six years ago, my little sister got this brilliant idea to buy my Mom a new Pomeranian, since Mom's beloved Rascal had to be put down at the age of 18 years. Mom was lonely, Dad was still working, and she really loved Rascal and he kept her really good company. She had also just had to put down her 19 year old cat, and she would often complain about just how empty the house felt with them gone.

Mom didn't really want a dog to take care of. Not even a little bit, and I warned her AND Dad to think really long and hard about saddling Mom with the responsibility of raising and training a puppy. Especially another Pomeranian.

Nobody listened to me.

So, they found a puppy mill (that I warned them was a puppy mill) with champagne Pomeranians for sale. They wanted a tea cup sized puppy. I told them it takes two years to know if a dog is going to be toy, miniature, or tea cup sized, BUT THEY DIDN'T LISTEN. They forked over $500+ for Trouble, with the guarantee that he would never weigh more than three pounds.

Holy fuck, of course I was right. Trouble weighs in at a little over 18 pounds. He is not fat. His features resemble more closely a Spitz than a Pom Pom.

All of that said, though, Trouble is now my dog, and I love him very much. He's not the dog I pictured having, but he's the dog I do have. By the time Trouble reaches the end of his lifespan (18 or so years) I will DEFINITELY be done having dogs.
Mr. Pants Says


Turns out, I am a doormat. Who knew?

My Dad has made the decision to return his dog, Trouble.

Trouble is a 5 year old Pomeranian. He's a beautiful dog, sweet natured, intelligent, loyal. He just couldn't adjust to apartment living. He needs a yard to play in and people to keep him company.

In other words, he needs a family with a stable lifestyle and a fenced yard.

Right now, he needs to see a vet for his itchy ear, to get some medicine to make it stop itching.

Dad also abandoned his cat, Mr. Cat. Mr. Cat is of undetermined breeding, with a big ol' floofy coat prone to matting. Mr. Cat *hates* living with other cats, and is so high strung, he won't let me tend to his mats, which have become painful at this point. I am sure a professional groomer could take care of the problem, but they like to get paid. I have barely enough money to keep everyone's bellies full this week, never mind the "frivolities" of animal care.

And, of course when asked about sharing the expenses, Dad turned out his empty pockets and played poormouth.

Other things going on right now include me having intractable pain in my left leg. Saw the Dr. for it this morning, and her prescription was prescription strength Aleve for two weeks, and lets see if it gets any better. Dude, I've been doing that for three weeks, and it's just getting worse!

Part of the problem is I can't do narcotics off handedly. They must be a last resort, when every single thing else has failed. I'm sure next is physical therapy, followed by images, and orthopedic consultations. The conclusion will no doubt be "your knee is fuckered with arthritis and needs surgery. That'll be $25,000 please."

There are times during the day that I would pay ten times that much just for a moment without pain, or at least long enough to get all of the things done I want to get done in a day that don't involve limping, whimpering, or sitting on my fat ass as it just gets fatter from all of the sitting.
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Mr. Pants Says


Right this minute, I am happy.



My heart is near full to bursting with just how glad I am to be who I am right now.

My one and only real wish is that the people who have loved me and that I have loved in return, but have passed from this life to the next, could see me now.

When my Aunt Dot passed, I was married to a miserable man who visited his misery on me and my entire family. I was usually hungry, frequently ill, and always over worked.

When my Mom died, I had at least married Carl. She and Dad walked me down the aisle to show the world that they not only approved of my choice, but welcomed him into our family with open arms. I was, however, still living in substandard housing, making decisions for survival that would have ensured that's all I did, was survive. I still didn't have access to health care, and my view of the future was very dark.

Now, however, because of what Aunt Dot and my mother left behind, I am safe at last.

The wealth that Aunt Dot left allowed my parents to modernize their home.

The broken heart my mother left in my father left him to seek out comfort and love one last time, which he found in his new wife Kay.

If my father had never wanted to leave his old life completely behind, I would not have a secure home to live in, with comfortable, sturdy furnishings and a yard I can take pride in. (Yeah, it's a fuck ton of work, but stuff I love to do anyway, for as long as I'm physically capable doing)
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Mr. Pants Says

Lawn Tractors and small lawns

So, I am in the process of buying my Dad's house. He has left me a Great Big Ol' Lawn Tractor. Like just... HUGE.

Thing is, the entire property is a shade less than a half acre, with a decent sized house, and two decent sized out buildings. That tractor could easily mow 10 acres with one tank of gas. He bought it brand new late last summer, for just over $3000.

I don't want that much mower for this yard. It's just too much, really. It took me a grand total of 30ish minutes to mow the entire yard, all the way from the road to the back fence. It is a double bagger, and I only managed to fill one bag, two thirds of the way up. It's such a behemoth that edging the yard is mandatory as it just can't get close enough to the edges to make it a monthly, instead of weekly, job.\

So. What I was thinking of doing was, after we finally close on the mortgage and sale, taking the tractor back to where Dad bought it (some mower dealer up the road) and seeing if I could do an even trade for a power assisted push mower.

I don't know if it would use less gas, or have better results. I just feel guilty as all hell, tooling around the yard on that thing. I hear the neighbors all mowing their lawns, and that shit takes all fucking day long.

I just hopped on my tractor and had that shit whipped out in less than an hour. Like, as my husband and child were cleaning up after supper, I was out mowing the lawn during my smoke break. Shit was that casual.

What kills me is, growing up Dad would bitch, and whine, moan and groan to anybody that would listen that he had to mow the lawn on his riding lawn mower. There was more yard then (fewer out buildings), for sure, but really? dude. You're riding on top of a mower, which is doing all of the work. It was *my* job to edge the lawn, with an electric Weed Whacker.

I just don't get it, really. Why did he feel the need to buy such a gigantic lawn tractor? It seriously ONLY mows the lawn. No tilling, dethatching, toting trailers like wagons, toting lawn rollers to smooth out mole tunnels.

Just mowing. And being noisy. It's got being noisy down pat.
Mr. Pants Says

The Learning Curve

I have worked my fingers to the bone teaching myself how to do office stuff on a computer.

Things that would have taken an experienced office drone maybe an hour at the most, has taken me six hours of trial and (mostly) error.

I don't even know if I formatted things properly, or sent files that could be used by the recipient for the purposes intended.

In other words, I have lost a whole day to loan paperwork that I would have rather spent either looking for a job, doing yardwork I'm way behind on, or keeping up with the laundry and housework. I would have loved to have had time to get dinner prepped and ready to cook when I get everyone home.

The one saving grace I had was I had time to clean the kitchen really well while Jessica was getting ready for school this morning, which has freed at least an hour of cooking time, so that we might actually end up eating dinner some time before 8 tonight.
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